Skip to main content
12:00 pm
12:01 pm
12:02 pm
>> hello, i'm meg, welcome to "culture wire." for this episode, the director of cultural affairs, luis, will take you on a journey through presidio has been tet. -- presidio habitat. >> welcome to "culture wire." today i'm at the presidio trust, a treasure within san francisco, because the presidio trust is
12:03 pm
really a national park in the center of an urban setting. it dates to the very founding of the city. national park. toting me today to talk about this amazing exhibition at presidio habitat is cheryl hanes. can you tell me a little bit about the idea of the presidio habitat? >> succinctly, i have been long involved in the presidio. i was here when it was still a military base in the 1980's.
12:04 pm
i remember driving down walmart to the golden gate bridge and seeing the military guard at the gate and being utterly fascinated. >> so presidio habitat is an exhibition where you have invited, how many artists to think about the habitat? >> we put together a list of possible participants, local, national, or international, of people who are concerned with environmental concerns, made some sort of contribution to the landscape and conversation we're having here. we said that broke -- proposal requests and we received 25 back. from that 25, we went through and chose tend to realize in the landscape. >> including this building,
12:05 pm
which is an amazing example of recycling. >> we are proud of this space. it was designed by a local architecture team. we said, we need something that is a temporary structure, something that can be brought onto the presidio in pieces, act as an exhibition space for one year. we came up with the notion of shipping containers. it was important for us that we made this project for the place, of the place. what i mean by that is participants would also used repurchased materials. >> we will be speaking to one of the artists that you selected. what excited you about his idea? >> have many things. first of all, i am a fan of his architecture.
12:06 pm
because of that creativity, i knew that he could come up with something unique. i love the fact that he was specifically addressing the landscape around here, and it was also about the human interaction with this place. >> what are your expectations with the people coming to presidio habitat? >> we really hope people will come with their family, dogs, and come back a number of times the works will change over the year. the feedback we are getting is you cannot do all of them on one visit. it is really better to come back and have different experiences. >> thank you. i am with mark jensen of jensen architect.
12:07 pm
he was one of the architects to be chosen to do the presidio habitat. when you heard about this project, what inspired you about that call? >> our inspiration is a great blue heron. it was the site itself that attracted us. this is an incredibly beautiful outdoor room. we did a bit of reverse engineering once we knew we wanted to work here. which animals live here? the great blue heron jumped out at us. we walked around, and quickly, you get into another pace. you slow down, leave the city behind you. you can feel the wind and the breeze. in our increasingly frenetic, fast-paced, connected life, the chance to be of here and slow
12:08 pm
down a bit was part of the agenda. as part of the installation, it was suggested that this would be deliberately not mowed because it would allow the sustaining of insects, plants, that would graduate -- that would gravitate to the area. >> that is right. i think you quickly notice that. >> thank you for being here. presidio habitat is an exhibition at the presidio trust. it will be in san francisco through may 2011. we hope you will come out to experience this amazing exhibition and great natural treasure. >> to learn more about the other habitats installations in the presidio, visit
12:09 pm
>> the san francisco arts commission's public arts program made a big splash in the civic center with the world premiere of three heads, six arms. the artist came from shanghai to help us celebrate the unavailing. we had a chance to speak with him about his work. >> the san francisco arts commission is pleased to be celebrating their relationship between san high and san francisco. the shanghai and san francisco. this is a 30 relationship that
12:10 pm
stretches back to win dianne feinstein was the mayor of san francisco. we premiered a new work of art here in san francisco called the three heads, six arms. welcome to san francisco. thank you for bringing your extraordinary sculpture. can you tell me about what inspired you to create this sculpture? >> this started with some trips that i took years ago. i went to to bed and i saw a lot of statues and i started to really feel the spiritual life of people in tibet. it really inspires me and i went back to shanghai and i started the creation of this.
12:11 pm
>> we see that one of the heads of the bullet it is your face. can you talk about the significance of that? -- we see that one of the heads of the buddha is your face. >> i started doing public art almost 10 years ago. what i want to express this as an extension of my our practice. this is an accumulation of my own experience as a performance artist. >> we see that the scale is very important.
12:12 pm
we have seen other works where a limb of this culture is on the floor but everything is very big and large scale. what are you trying to accomplish with expanding the scale of these images to such a great size. >> i wanted to make large scale art and see how this plays a role in contemporary society. i think that is the mission of contemporary art, to serve as a social critique. >> when the mayor knew some --
12:13 pm
when mayor newsom join you in dedicating this, they wanted to find a work that was big and bold. he was so pleased with your participation that he made you an honoraria citizens of san francisco for the next 18 months. the public reaction has been very positive. what is your reaction of how people receive your sculpture? >> i think that san francisco has a long history. this gigantic sculpture is in front of the civic center.
12:14 pm
i know that that is not the kind of a go with whole environment. there is an exchange with the american culture and the asian culture which has created this very strong power. this power was created by east meets west may be is exactly what our mayor or the public wants. they will start to be curious and wonder how this is here and how we look at the asian culture. >> you have lived internationally, you have lived in cities like new york and beijing, now shanghai. you made a very conscious decision to lend this culture to san francisco as opposed to having it premier as an exhibition at another museum.
12:15 pm
>> i am very satisfied with the turnout and i lived in new york for 8 years and all of my children were born in new york. i already have the american spirit. i am proud to be here and i really appreciate the spirit of committing to things and being honored and being collaborative. when i flashed back to my career, i think about what an artist can do is a teeny tiny thing. i want to contribute to the hall human society. what art can do is just this tiny bit. >> your invitation has already proven to be a great success and we really look forward to spending time with your
12:16 pm
sculpture. thank you for being part of "culture wire." >> thank you for being part of this project. >> thank you for watching. join us for future episodes. you can >> welcome to culture wire. did you know the city of san francisco has an art collection consisting of 3500 objects? the collection ranges from painting and public buildings to murals, and from bronze busts in city halls, to cite specific
12:17 pm
structures. at this time, many of the large works are in desperate need of repair, and a long-term innovative solution is needed to make sure these public treasures will be cared for. >> the story of the arts commission program begins with ruth fromstein. 2010 marks her 50th year as an art dealer. at the helm of the county, she had represented some of the most notable of bay area artists, and continues to look for new talent. >> the artists that i represent, what do i choose them, if asked to do with a background of what the gallery is about. i love the idea of finding new
12:18 pm
guys and watching them grow. it is the old fashioned way of having a nunnery, which is having a stable. what you have is loyalty to them, artists are loyal to you. the philosophy behind that, my philosophy, has not changed since i started 49 years ago. i take care of you and you take care of me. it has been that way ever since. >> ruth represents the estate of the world renowned sculptor peter focused. in 1971, he created and the love the untitled public work cited at seventh and bryant. like many other public works of art, this is in need of repair. ruth began conversations with the director of cultural affairs, a andart care was born.
12:19 pm
>> we look at all of the local pieces and decided which one needed the most repair, to bring it back to where it was before. that is what i am after. if you drive by right now, you cannot see it coming down seventh street. you can only see it as you come up to it. >> one's culture outside of the hall of justice was one of the first pieces commissioned after the 1969 ordinance. it is significant that we are planning to treat it as part of the art care program. the program intends to take care of the bronze sculpture located in very park, a monument to the korean community of san francisco. it has been in the park for over
12:20 pm
20 years, has become a bit of a magnet for vandalism. we are also looking at several sculptures from henry more, one in front of the symphony building. we are also looking at yen and yang, a much loved peace -- piece. but the team has been damaged over time, so we need to treat -- patina has been damaged over time, so we need to treat it. >> roof and was given a lifetime award for her contributions to and influence over the bay area artist community. >> the lifetime achievement award -- it is embarrassing to me but i have to learn to accept it. this is the way it is. also, everybody here is good
12:21 pm
things happening about them after they are dead. i have the opportunity to see this happen while i am still lives. i look at this award as an opportunity for me to find a place for my craft and keep the art program going. >> the director of the program address the crowd and ask for each member to consider donating funds to help save some of san francisco's most important neighborhood landmarks. >> as one of san francisco's living treasures, we respect you and, frankly, we are in off -- awe of your 50 years of tireless effort as an early art on from for north. >> i would like to be perhaps the first donation to our care and present you with a check to get the ball rolling. >> because i know that the arts commission is very sincere about
12:22 pm
this, i'm going to make a personal commitment of $10,000. [applause] >> what is significant about the program is the way it is set out allows us to treat the artworks that have the most need, the ones that our conservative have pointed out as the most vulnerable as opposed to ones that might be the most popular were the most miserable -- the most visible. >> it is an opportunity for the public to get involved with these art works located in their backyard and ultimately belong to them. >> i want to do something for the community, just giving back what the community has done for me. it is corny to say, but it is true. it really is what it is. that i would be able to see more pieces cleanup. >>" will check back in the future and see the fruits of conservation and revitalization efforts. if you would find out more or
12:23 pm
donate to the art carethe donate to the art carethe artsfartcommission.org. today we are visiting southern exposure in san francisco alison prepares to launch a fantastic new project called beautiful possibilities. we will send them on a two-year adventure crisscrossing the united states to investigate american history and contemporary culture. it is using a traveling road show as inspiration. she will sit down and talk with residents in search of stories and experiences that reveals exactly what makes us americans.
12:24 pm
>> beautiful possibility is a traveling research project that i will take on a five-month journey across the united states and lower canada. i document this tore on a map that i painted for the project and also from previous projects called the road map to lost america. on the map i have taken all of the contemporary borders off the map and replaced them with native territories, and then overlaid it with contemporary highways. i have scheduled venue stops at different areas along the tour, from california to south dakota, that will serve as headquarters for my local research. when i was researching the traveling medicine show, i came across this. they had put out an elixir, and
12:25 pm
it referred to the elements that came out because of the high stress, high-pressure life, mostly because of the industrial revolution. anyway, i was fascinated by the term american-itis, and i thought it did a lot about the stress-related illnesses, and i was impressed that they picked up on that and the 1800's. i did a survey to see if it was irrelevant element today. i have a series of eight painted banners that are retellings of american history. i am particularly interested in transition history between native and european histories and retelling them as if they were a popular myth. there is a mix of eras and characters and times drat these banners. -- and times throughout these banners.
12:26 pm
i use the olympics and the melting pot, or things reduced down, and come out of this reduction. and something else transforms out of it. they had this strict code of who we should be as americans, and then i had andrew jackson fanning the flames. this first contact, down to george bush in 2008. all of the characters that appear are real characters that are taken from my research. we are an interesting mix and i want to provoke wonder about who we are. every one of the characters are taken from actual photographs or documents that i found in my research on american history. in a lot of my banners, you conceal -- uc the melting pot, the imagery and myth that we use in our culture. talking about these reductions
12:27 pm
of all these different mixes of people, how you distill the experience. that is something i want to think about, collecting the ideas and ingredients, and i wanted to do the san francisco de lexie. -- elixir. we found a spring water underneath a church in cow hollow. we put rosebuds in the water to attract peace, and it made a meade. it was sitting in the gallery. we distill that through local herbs. it was really surprising how delicious it was, because we were mixing a lot of seemingly in congruent ingredients, and it was delicious and different from anything you have ever tasted. i would have been happy if it was medicinal. the idea was more important to
12:28 pm
me. but it was very good. it is something i think a lot about, especially transition history, native americans, how they have this combination of dress, from the clothing from trade companies, mixed with traditional dress. i love how reflective it is of who they are, and also the merging history's coming together. what would we look like if we carry our history with us? all of the merging of cultures, reflected in our address? i am thinking of my own history with early europeans coming in and intermixing with native cultures. the one thing i would like people to take away from after seeing my work is a sense of wonder and who we are as americans. that we are really these beautiful mixes of people and we should really be looking backwards at who we are. i think we are all kind of historians in our own life, and there are great presidents behind us -- president behind us
12:29 pm
that could give us insight into who we are. >> oliver road trip on her website. check at often. new experiences will be added after every stop. >> welcome to "culture wire." i'm your host meg. for years, free jazz concerts have been providing entertainment in downtown san francisco. people pay local musicians to perform for lunchtime crowds. the goal is not just entertainth. people in plazas are trying to create neighborhoods. what began as a forum for performers who were paid by passing the hat has become a program that provides wide exposure and more than 500 paid

tv
[untitled]
September 1, 2010 11:00am-11:30am PST

TOPIC FREQUENCY San Francisco 18, New York 3, Meg 1, Bryant 1, Dianne Feinstein 1, Cheryl Hanes 1, Heron 1, Newsom 1, Yang 1, Presidio 1, Luis 1, De Lexie 1, Entertainth 1, Uc 1, Ruth Fromstein 1, Alison 1, California 1, Downtown San Francisco 1, Canada 1, South Dakota 1
Network SFGTV2
Duration 00:30:00
Tuner Channel 89 (615 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 544
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color